Micro-K

Generic Name: Potassium

  • What is Micro-K?

    Micro-K is a specially formulated medication that contains potassium chloride in tiny, coated capsules that release the potassium slowly throughout your digestive tract. Micro-K is used to treat people with low potassium levels due to many disease states, toxicity due to digitalis, or those with a condition called hypokalemic familial periodic paralysis.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Micro-K?

    Micro-K may increase your risk of stomach and intestinal bleeding and ulceration. Therefore, you should only take Micro-K if you cannot tolerate liquid or effervescent potassium preparations.

    If your body has an impaired ability to excrete potassium, taking Micro-K can cause an increase in your body's potassium level that can result in a heart attack. If you have chronic kidney disease or any other condition that could potentially result in increased potassium levels, your doctor may perform blood tests regularly to monitor your potassium levels.

  • Who should not take Micro-K?

    You should not take Micro-K if you have high levels of potassium in your blood. People who have a digestive tract that moves slower than normal for any reason (e.g., structural abnormality, medication induced or disease related) should not take Micro-K.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Micro-K?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Micro-K. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have chronic kidney failure, a systemic acidosis condition such as diabetic acidosis, acute dehydration, extensive tissue breakdown such as with severe burns, or adrenal insufficiency.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual dose for prevention of low potassium is 20 milliequivalents (mEq) taken daily (equal to two 750-milligram [mg] capsules taken daily). The usual dose for potassium depletion is 40-100 mEq (or 4-10 of the 750 mg capsules) taken daily .

    Never take more than 20 mEq (the equivalent of two 750-mg capsules) at the same time.

  • How should I take Micro-K?

    Micro-K should be taken with food and a full glass of water or similar liquid at the same time every day.

    Do not suck, chew, or crush the capsules before swallowing them. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, you may open the capsules and sprinkle the contents on soft food such as applesauce or pudding. The food used should not be hot and should be soft enough to be swallowed without chewing.

  • What should I avoid while taking Micro-K?

    You should avoid taking more Micro-K than your doctor has prescribed unless instructed otherwise.

    Limit the intake of high-potassium foods (e.g., bananas, fresh fruits/vegetables, fresh meats) as directed by your healthcare professional.

    Avoid concomitant use of potassium-containing salt substitutes, and potassium-sparing diuretics.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Micro-K?

    If Micro-K is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Micro-K with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as captopril or enalapril and potassium-sparing diuretics such as spironolactone, triamterene, or amiloride.

  • What are the possible side effects of Micro-K?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: Nausea, vomiting, gas, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea. These are usually due to digestive tract irritation and can be avoided by taking Micro-K with food. Elevated potassium levels, intestinal or stomach ulceration and bleeding may also occur.

  • Can I receive Micro-K if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Micro-K during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

    If taken during breastfeeding to correct a low potassium level, Micro-K should have little to no effect on the natural potassium level in breast milk.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Micro-K?

    If you miss a dose of Micro-K, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and return to your normal dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Micro-K?

    Micro-K should be stored at room temperature.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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